Best Sources of Magnesium

Oat Bran or Wheat Bran for Breakfast

Bran and FruitNow this is how we start the day, especially if you already eat cereal. While raw oat bran offers about 225 mg of magnesium per 100 grams (and 256 calories), raw wheat bran offers near 350 mg of magnesium at half the calories. You are well on your way here, but there are a couple things to remember. These weights are dry weight. The addition of water will help you to eat more, but most water has very little magnesium content.  They’ll still be fairly high in magnesium, but no magnesium super food.
The other thing to remember is not to overdo it. Too much bran can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea. Take it slowly, and drink lots of water. The more bran you eat, the more water you need. If you stop yourself up with too much raw bran, it can inhibit your body’s absorption of other minerals. If you are wondering how to eat raw bran without feeling like a horse, try mixing with milk or even soymilk. A dd some sweetening in the form of honey or raisins, or others fruits. Add some cinnamon for a little tang.
The nice thing about raw bran for breakfast is that you are almost certain to cover your magnesium needs for the rest of the day by just eating normally.

Pumpkin Seeds

One Pumkin Seed - One Mg MagnesiumPumpkin seeds are in a category of their own so far as magnesium rich foods go. At 535 mg per 100 gram serving, you are covered for the whole day. The advantage of pumpkin seeds is that they are very suitable to snacking. Wherever you are, at any time of day, you can pop a few pumpkin seeds in your mouth and get roughly a milligram of magnesium per seed. Can’t go too wrong here, except watch the calories (over 500 per 100 grams).


Chocolate for delicious magnesiumThe estimates of magnesium in chocolate range 100 mg to over 500 mg per 100 grams of chocolate servings. Milk chocolate or other highly diluted chocolates are well below even the 100 mg figure, and not worth considering for their magnesium value. Yet, it’s all here at the top of the list because most of us love to eat chocolate – so here’s an excuse, sort of. The thing to remember is that raw cocoa beans would be your absolute best source for magnesium, though they are certainly not to everyone’s taste, and not all that easy to find. To make them easier to eat, even enjoyable, try grinding the whole beans in a food processor, and sprinkling them on yogurt or ice cream. Or mix them with a drink in a juicer. Or add them to tea. If even this is more than you want to deal with, just take some cocoa powder and make an extra strong hot chocolate, or eat sweetened dark chocolate (at least 89% cocoa content). For more information about chocolate check out our posts about the benefits of chocolate and health chocolate scams.

Almonds and Other Nuts or Seeds

Almonds each have 3 mg of magnesium Almonds, with cashews running a close second, are excellent sources of magnesium. 100 grams of almonds pack in roughly 180 mg of magnesium, while 100 grams of cashews have almost 170 mg. Broken down, this means one almond is equivalent to 3 mg of magnesium. In fact, if we look at it that way, brazil nuts are super sources, with about 7 mg of magnesium in each nut (about 145 mg per 100 grams of brazil nuts). Pine nuts and just about all other nuts are also good sources of magnesium. Raw nuts, of course, are best (when they can be eaten).


Spinach is rich in magnesiumSpinach. No surprise here- we’ve always known it was healthy. A mere 100 grams of spinach is very easy to eat, very low in calories, and very high in magnesium as well as other great nutrients. Before turning up your nose at this food, try some treats such as spinach salad with bacon dressing, or creamy spinach soup. See our spinach recipes page for more. And read one to see a great partner for spinach.


While many fish are good sources of magnesium, halibut is the king of magnesium rich foods…er, seafoods. Halinut, spinach and garlic cream sauce magnesium super mealA mere 3.5 oz. (100 gram) serving delivers a solid 107 mg of magnesium. Now halibut doesn’t have much taste, which is either a good or bad thing, depending on how much you like fish. Which is why it needs to be cooked with flourish. And there’s no better partner that our friend above – spinach. If you have doubts about the deliciousness that this powerhouse high magnesium meal can bring you, just look at this picture of halibut with spinach and garlic cream sauce. What a wonderful way to cure a magnesium deficiency!

Beans – Black or White

Beans with spinach provide a very high magnesium mealBeans, glorious beans…

Both white beans and black beans pack anywhere between 110-135 mg of magnesium rich goodness to each cup of boiled beans. That means bean soup!

White beans are high in potassium (but low in sodium), iron, manganese and soluble fiber as well. Soluble fiber is what helps your body rid itself of cholesterol. White beans also contain protease inhibitors, which are know to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Black beans are rich in protein, iron and vitamin B. Black beans also help reduce cholesterol, help maintain balanced blood sugar levels and (of course) prevent constipation. All of these factors help to lessen to incidence of heart disease, diabetes and many gastrointestinal disorders. Black beans are also rich in phytochemicals, which are substances found only in plant foods that are know to help fight cancer.

They also couldn’t be easier to eat, as there are a myriad of black bean recipes and white bean recipes. These are among the easiest ways to take in magnesium rich foods and to keep your body fit.

(Click Here for a Full List of Magnesium Rich Foods)

The full FDA list of magnesium content in foods is available from the FDA website.
Otherwise, go to our own list of magnesium rich foods to see some of the best.

A Note on Magnesium Rich Foods Lists

Kombu is magnesium rich, but dangerous in quantity (if you can eat that much)

Toxic amounts of this health food are needed to impact magnesium levels.

Magnesium rich foods lists often include things like herbs, cocoa powder and kombu kelp (a tough and chewy seaweed). Great, except they are measuring magnesium per 100 gram (about 3.5 ounces) serving. Now go and try to down 100 grams of coriander. That would be more than a cup, if dry, and a heck of a lot even fresh. Or how about a cup of cocoa powder (not hot cocoa with milk, just the powder)? Don’t even think about the kombu. You’ll be chewing all day, and get an overdose of iodine long before you replenish your magnesium levels. So go ahead to the other lists, and view their advice – usually written by some overworked woman at a content sweatshop in Mumbai.

(Full List of Magnesium Rich Foods)

You see how useless these unedited lists can be? I assume you are here to learn about which foods high in magnesium can help you avoid magnesium deficiency. And by that, I mean foods that you can enough of as a normal person to get the benefits of their magnesium content. Well, here’s a list of magnesium rich foods that you can actually use, and actually consume without some sort of superhuman and dangerous effort. Let’s get started….

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8 Responses to “Best Sources of Magnesium”

  1. johne says:

    but hey that foods in your list contains a lot of phytic acid and blocks magnesium absorption!you did not know it?

  2. Soys says:

    Johne, it’s not as simple as that. Foods and nutrition are complex, and if you try to break it down too much you’ll end up failing, as well as stressing yourself out. If you can’t get past this obstacle, then simply boil your spinach, which will reduce the phytates and oxalates along with reducing many many other nutrients. The thing is, we have only a small understanding of what nutrients are and how they work. Meanwhile, nature has it pretty well worked out. So, as always, the best dietary advice is to eat a variety of fresh, unprocessed foods. There is nothing wrong with phytic acid and oxalates, and they have their own functions in the world of nutrition. They are not poisons. Many nutrients interact, some reduce the absorption of others, but a balanced diet works that all out for you.

  3. Rose H says:

    This was a great article but I did not see (perhaps just overlooked) the amount of magnesium we should intake daily.

  4. Soys says:

    Thanks, Rose. A lot of people overlook it, but there’s a magnesium calculator in the right side of the page. That’s great for a rough guide, though there are plenty of factors that may change your requirements. Personally, I try to get at least 500mg daily.

  5. Larry Lix says:

    Great article and well done!

    I have noticed what appears to be one logical error in your article regarding the boiling of oatmeal.

    First – oatmeal does not evaporate and will not be drained off with the boiling water making oatmeal. Magnesium is a metal and cannot \\"disappear\\" with hot water.

    Second – I believe you have interpreted the FDA charts incorrectly. It would appear you base your magnesium content on the volume of the oatmeal item instead of the actual oatmeal weight involved in the chart. Refering to the weights on the chart it can be seen that 1 cup of prepared oatmeal contains about 60% water and not the full 1 cup as used in the raw measurement quantities. Thus the 60% reduction in magnesium content.

    I would hope this may help to a more accurate text. Your article was well done and appreciated by me as a way to get research clues and an entrance to more technical studies.


  6. Soys says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Larry. My mention of water was rather vague now that you bring it up. This is the very same trap I mention elsewhere, where a glance at the USDA nutrient levels can make a food look much better than it is (a cup of ground coffee, minus the water, is also packed with magnesium).

    The point I was trying to make with hot water runs closer to your second observation, and closer to the coffee issue above. Unfortunately, I didn’t make that clear. The weight of cooked oatmeal is mostly water, and unless a magnesium rich water is used to cook with, you will be getting considerably less of it.

    Your first point about magnesium being a metal is inarguable, isn’t it? Of course, as long as the water used to cook something is consumed and not thrown away or drained off, hardly any magnesium would be lost. The magnesium may be leeched off into the water, but it’s still there. This made me wonder about the cooking prohibition (raw foodies are everywhere). My own diet is heavy in raw foods, but I don’t see any reason to go 100% raw. Cooking clearly makes some foods more digestible. So, even if a raw food has twice the nutrients, it doesn’t do much good if they are not absorbed, or bioavailable. This made me wonder what else could be at work.
    I did find something called “starch gelatinization,” which is created through cooking and improves digestibility. The flip side is that some indigestible starch is created at the same time. However, in the case of oats, this would seem to reduce digestibility by about 6%. However, this has to be balanced against the great increase in digestibility gained by cooking, which would far outweigh it. I could go way down the rabbit hole reading about this, but for now I’ll delete the part about cooking above. Thanks again for the heads up.

  7. Larry Lix says:

    Nice to see you still kicking, here!
    The way I understand it many vitamins are heat sensitive or evaporate with heat. These can be destroyed by heat but minerals should not be. Bioavailability may be lessened and another matter completely. Some theorize that the pastuerisation of dairy hardens the calcium molecules (casein) and makes the calcium less bioavailable, hard to digest and consequently causes problems with human health.
    I currently am experiencing calcification of soft tissues (xrays showit well now) and am looking for a nutritional solution to some of the aches / pains and seized spinal joints. I have had problems with these types of things ost of my life despite years of stretching and exercise programmes, seemingly making the attacks worse. Previous sessions of magnesium supplementation and other pH raising supplements have been very successful for me after a few months, each time. This problem seems to be coming to light, online, as more people raise their voices about their own findings, despite the medical chem/cut doctors and supporters resistance and attacks. (check out any alternative health item on wikipedia). Interesting thingistheedical researchers appear to know most of this stuff. Only the front line MD crowd is left behind. 🙂
    Keep up the good work.

  8. Soys says:

    Interesting comment, thanks. I see MDs as consultants only. Most people who pay attention have a pretty good idea what their body is telling them. Any decent MD will admit that there’s an awful lot they just don’t know, and will want to hear your feelings on the subject of your own health.

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